Maboe needs support and not boos – Ngcongca backs struggling Mamelodi Sundowns teammate

The former Maritzburg United star appears to have failed to impress Downs supporters this season with a lack of goals

Mamelodi Sundowns defender Anele Ngcongca says that he does not understand why fans are not patient with forward Lebohang Maboe.

In his second season at Chloorkop, Maboe has managed just a goal in 17 Premier Soccer League (PSL) appearances and none in Cup games so far this season, a record that has not impressed Sundowns supporters.

This comes after he scored eight league goals and once in the Caf Champions League in his debut season with the Brazilians, missing just three PSL games after arriving from Maritzburg United.

But having also featured in seven Champions League matches this term in which he has struggled to find the back of the net, Maboe still needs support, according to his teammate Ngcongca.

“Maboe was one of the best players at Sundowns last season and the boy has been trying so hard this season‚ but still the supporters want to change [substitute] him. I don’t understand it,” Ngcongca told Times Live.

“He needs the supporters to back him. Not to boo him and call on him to be substituted. In our football, we should learn that when you support a team‚ you support the players also. It has been tough on him.”

Ngcongca also feels that fans in South African football do not appreciate players who play simple football and are not stylish in their game.

“It is disappointing for me‚ that players who just go and do their jobs are not recognised by the supporters. I feel like in South Africa if you are not showboating‚ the supporters won’t talk about you‚” said Ngcongca.

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing football to be put on hold in South Africa, Ngcongca says the suspension of action came at a time when he was enjoying what he feels was his best season in Downs colours.

The former Genk star was now getting regular game time in the absence of injured Thapelo Morena who could also play as a right-back.

“But it is a bit frustrating [the lockdown] for me because‚ if I look back‚ I think this has been the season where I feel like I have contributed the most to the team. I think my performances have been good and I have already helped the team to one trophy [the Telkom Knockout],” Ngcongca.

“Obviously‚ I have been sharing the cake with Thapelo [Morena] – sometimes he plays ahead of me‚ it all depends on who we are facing and the coach’s plans.

“With him injured now‚ that would have been more responsibility for me along with the young boy from the youth [Nicholus Lukhubeni].

“If Thapelo is still injured when the league starts again‚ I know I must step up. I am a senior player and that is the sort of situation I really enjoy. I like to have that responsibility.”